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Monday, June 24, 2013

Vintage in the Shop: Utility Knife

Inverse side:
Southbridge, Mass
Made in the U.S.A.

Daddy gave this utility knife to me when I married. He used these all the time. He was a contractor--sheet rock, wallpaper of all sorts, paint and trim when needed to finish the job. Paperhanging in hospitals, motels, and some private homes was his specialty, not the other.
The date  made is not on the utility knife. However, since there is no zip code, the knife seems to be made before 1964. I just called the company. It was made in 1968. But, they still don't put the zip code on the utility knife! The same utility knife is still made today. But, it is not heavy, is made from a lighter metal. The screw and hex nut on the back helped to date it. I forgot what he said the fastener material was.
Sure, I need a screw driver to change blades, but lots of things can be used to improvise a screw driver.

You have probably noticed that the blade tip is broken. I cannot remember ever changing the blade. After all, now I only need this to cut tape to open packages, so a butter knife would work. This week, I will buy new blades just because.
I started to post a picture of the newer one given to me about ten years ago by a friend who said I needed a good one. It is green plastic and Made in China and does not deserve a place here. The green, plastic one has a thumb thing to advance and retreat the blade. Yes, it is safer and does not require a screwdriver. However, it will break and is extremely difficult for me to press the little button and hold it while I move the blade. My old utility knife is fat and has a nice hand feel. The new green, plastic utility knife is skinny and causes my hand to ache after gripping it and using it.

The new utility knife is Made in China. So, not only am I using something old that will last,  but also the old utility knife was Made in the U.S.A.
My utility knife from the 1960s is at least 50-years-old. UPDATE: Okay, it is at least 45-years-old. Knowing Daddy, he gave me an old one in 1968 when we bought a home, because girls don't need these things very much. I did not expect a new one, just know Daddy.

Interesting fact: Prior to 1968, Hyde used a letter and four numbers. When they acquired their first computer, it would not take letters and numbers for codes, only numbers, so they switched to all numbers. Maybe Daddy did give me a new utility knife!

I changed the words "box cutter" to "utility knife" in this post.

Your turn
Do you have or use a utility knife like this old one I own? Are you happy with the sturdy knife? Do you prefer older tools in your shop or toolbox?


  1. I love tools - can never have enough! I still have my Grandfather's and Dad's wood working tools and I use them, too! I really enjoy making toys for the little ones.

  2. Chickenmom,
    I wish Mother's Day featured tools on sale! I have a few of Daddy's tools, not many. I don't use many tools nowadays, but often I have friends who will repair something with my tools. So, they are still used.

    Daddy made of lots of toys.

  3. We have 2 that we argue over. They are *Stanley* and old like yours. They are strong, feel good in the hand and mine! At least one is anyway. Husband says they are his, he is the man, the worker, He says he knows they are his because I am too tight to buy a decent knife. He gets me with that last bit but I'm pretty sure that at least of of these knives is mine. We do have an assorted batch of cheaper ones but I like MY Stanley.


  4. Barb,
    Too funny! When I was married, there was no doubt that all the tools were mine. Daddy gave them to me or I bought them. Oh, I forgot, my ex bought an adjustable wrench from the Dollar Store. It did cost $1. You had to hold the screw part that was supposed to tighten and hold while you twisted the wrench. I actually laughed when I saw him use this. He did not even have a screw driver when we married. He was not a boy. He was 24 and owned a car and no tools, not one.

    Scratch your name on the tool. That should settle it. I am probably tight, but I will pay top dollar for a tool. Men are impressed by range and quality. I kindly ask them for my things I see go in their pocket as they work and forget to give back to me.

    Mama had a tool/junk drawer in the kitchen with her tools in it. She hounded anyone who took out a tool until they put it back. Daddy had a shop out back, but people were too lazy to go out there and get his stuff. He was the one who did stuff, but she often needed a hammer or screwdriver, utility knife, pliers, wrench for easy but necessary things around the house. Women need tools but not pink ones. However, mine are going to get some pink spray paint to assure they stay here.

  5. that is one awesome knife - do keep it!!!

    i have a Stanley knife that is very similar - i think it was my grandfathers! yes you have to open it with a screwdriver to change the blade, but the metal is top notch and it is the only knife I will use to cut the sidewalls out of tires as i know the knife won't snap on me..

    but yours looks way cooler and i am envious!!


    1. Jambaloney,
      Barb, above, said she has a Stanley. Thanks, I thought it was pretty sturdy. Oh, I will keep it.


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